Summer camp recap

We (the boys and I) got home yesterday from ten days in Virginia and I’d better write it all down before I forget. The beginning of our trip already feels like a lifetime ago (but like, a really fun lifetime.)

We arrived after an early flight at around lunchtime on Saturday the 9th. Kiki picked us up, and we headed to my sister’s house to drop the boys off for their first day of Camp Aunt Jenny. She made shirts. After lots of hugs and pictures, Kiki and I left to go have lunch at a Mexican-Indian restaurant. (Yum!)

Then we got to go back to give hugs and goodbyes again because I left my wallet at my sister’s. (Convenient!)

After shopping for a lot of booze and food, we headed to Kiki’s house and got ready for Camp Kiki. I made shirts. We had a very fancy Wagyu steak for dinner. It was sublime. Also Maxie is very cute.

We loaded up Kiki and Mike’s car Sunday morning and drove a couple of hours to an amazing airbnb in Charlottesville. On the way, we stopped at winery #1, Early Mountain. We drank wine and ate delicious food, including this couscous that I need to figure out how to recreate. It was incredible.

The airbnb was amazing – very clean, well stocked, and with a huge pool, hot tub, and a gorgeous view. Perfect place for Camp Kiki!

Day 2 in Charlottesville:

Kiki went for a walk, then hit a few wineries before spending the afternoon in the pool. Everything was delicious and the scenery everywhere was stunning. We made s’mores around the firepit later and saw lots of fireflies, which was exciting for me.

The next day, Kiki’s friend Jess arrived, yay! That day we hit up a winery and a brewery, had more delicious food, more pool time and then some rousing rounds of Shithead.

Wednesday was the day for lunch at Pippin Hill, which was just breathtakingly gorgeous. We also hit a cidery afterwards, where I got to see apple trees and a cute dog.

More pool time and more Shithead followed.

Sadly, Wednesday was our last night there. And of course that’s when I discovered a friend lives less than ten minutes away from where we were staying. Isn’t that always the way?

But I couldn’t be too sad because the next phase of Camp Kiki was a trip to New York City!

We got back to Woodbridge Thursday afternoon, did a shitload of laundry, and repacked for the trip to NYC.

Friday morning, we hopped on a train like the fun-loving globetrotters we are.

After a few hours we arrived at Penn Station, and then made our way to our hotel (not before having some lunch and wine.) The hotel was adorable. It’s called the Library Hotel and see if you can guess what the theme of it is.

After relaxing, we headed out to dinner at a wine bar, and then to a play. The play was the main reason we went to NYC. One of the stars is Noah Reid from Schitt’s Creek and maybe you don’t know this about me but I am a little obsessed with Schitt’s Creek. Surprise! I was supposed to go in May but because SOME CHILDREN I WON’T MENTION got covid, I had to cancel that trip. So I’m glad I got to see it finally. Even if it was…weird.

The wine bar we went to was fancy (like us) and we had some delicious wine and food before heading to the theater. Our seats were very good, and it was neat to see Patrick Noah Reid up close.

We were only there for one night, but we made the most of our morning before the train back to DC. We walked down to the Union Square Greenmarket, which was very cool. And then wandered around for a while. Kiki was THE VERY BEST FRIEND EVER and agreed to let me go to Mood. Yay! I tried to be as fast as possible, but I get decision paralysis at smaller places than this, but I went in with just one goal (some cotton poplin) and I made it out with just that. Whew!

Afterwards, we got our stuff from the hotel and I cursed my sandals for reactivating my Achilles tendinitis, but it was worth it. We hobbled our way back to the train station, and, well, the rest of the day was fairly uneventful.

I mean, we’ve done so much already, wouldn’t you think our trip was almost over by now? It’s only Saturday at this point and we didn’t go home until Tuesday!

Sunday, we went and retrieved my offspring from my sister’s house. They had stayed up until 2am because my sister had promised them middle of the night ihop, so they were pretty tired, but we had a baseball game to go to!

Mike and Kiki have season tickets to the Nationals so that’s how we spent Sunday. We ate delicious food, drank delicious things (including a bloody mary with a raw oyster on top), and were good luck charms for the Nats, who won for the first time in a little while. Yay us! It was overcast, too, which was nice.

We were all pretty exhausted after that.

Monday was our last full day, boo! We took the boys to see the new Thor movie, which was fun. And then we picked up some dinner, and saw a rainbow, and packed up our stuff, and watched the Home Run Derby.

Tuesday morning we went home. Everyone (except us, apparently) is getting covid and it sucks. But it was nice to see Ziggy again and to sleep in my own bed. The end.

Ketchup

Well, summer has officially begin. We’re in it now. What’s happened since the last update? Every minor in the house has had covid, but no adults. I got my booster when the first one had it, so fingers crossed I’ll avoid it for now. I know it’s going to get me eventually, but I’d prefer it wait until we get back from Virginia.

The boys had their eighth grade promotion ceremony, which was very sweet. There was a huge party after, that was fun. (Still, no covid.) There was an end of the year night at the City Park amusement park. Fortunately, the timing of those all worked out with the sicknesses.

My dear friend Mary Catherine moved away, so we had to take one last picture of the boys with Millie. (I mean, until we go visit.)

They’ve grown a bit.

Oliver had a treadmill accident the day we joined Planet Fitness. Then later that evening I had the brilliant idea to cut garlic with a mandolin. (Don’t.)

We got a new oven, the old one finally conked out. Getting rid of the shitty Samsung appliances one at a time. (New fridge was last month.)

The new stovetop is induction, though, which means I had to replace almost all of my pots and pans. But it’s worth it because it boils a pot of cold water in under three minutes!

Other things I recommend are freezy pop bags to freeze margaritas in and the PhotoScan app so I can scan a bunch of pictures in no time.

I guess that’s about it! The boys have a kind of orientation week at their high school this week, and they’ve been going to futsal (indoor soccer) once a week, too.

Until next time…

January, a recap

I kept meaning to post this month, but couldn’t really make myself do it (aside from the quilt post.) But now I am feeling more up to it.

Starting with my birthday, which I was kind of not excited about (which is VERY SAD because I love birthdays so much) because the weather was supposed to be gross, and omicron was in full force so we couldn’t go anywhere and I couldn’t do anything and I was just sad. And I was supposed to go visit Kiki, but thanks to omicron, we decided it was best to postpone it.

But it ended up being a lovely day! I did a live Peloton class (alas, no birthday shout-out but lots of high fives), the boys gave me cards they made that made me cry, and Oliver made me scrambled eggs. Then my friends Jen and Aimee came over and the weather was lovely and Jen brought me a bananas foster king cake and half a gallon of frozen margarita and we sat outside and gave ourselves diabetes but it was just so nice to sit and chat with friends.

George gave me a vacuum sealer to go with my sous vide he gave me for Christmas, and while it may not sound like the most romantic gift ever, it was very appreciated. I mean, who hasn’t always wanted a vacuum sealer? It is very fun. And Kiki gave me a subscription to NYT cooking and some fun goodies to open.

And I spent the day making a cake from scratch, then ordering a ton of Chinese food for dinner, and all in all, it was a lovely birthday.

Cards and cake and vacuum-sealed king cake!

Other notable things in January…

I got an new sewing machine! I am in love. It’s fairly basic, feature-wise (just a straight-stitch machine) but it’s so powerful and FAST and sews through multiple layers of canvas and denim like it’s NOTHING. And it was so nice to use when quilting the quilt I made for Kiki.

Hey, gorgeous!

Which brings me to the quilt I made for Kiki, that’s quilt number 3 if you’re counting. I wanted to send her comfort and coziness so I made it out of flannel. I wanted to do shades of blue, and kind of ombre, so I cut long strips and sewed them together into one big long roll, then cut them into roughly 70″ lengths, then sewed them together! Simple, but I like the way it turned out. Until I realized I really had to hand sew the binding because of the solid colors, and then I hated myself for making it so big, but you know what, Kiki’s worth it, and it only ended up taking a couple of evenings to finish up.

I just am not really into making clothes right now but I had fun making a few wristlets and a little pouch. It’s the Yarrow Wristlet pattern from Noodlehead. It was just challenging enough to be fun, but not, like, torturously hard.

Why yes, that is Schitt’s Creek fabric on the inside of the black and white one. As if I’d go a whole post without mentioning it! (Got it from Spoonflower.)

Oh, and the boys got their booster shots for the vaccine trial! Yay! That was a relief, because they also started back at soccer this week. Oh, and they took a test to maybe go to a different high school next year but I’m not quite ready to think about that just yet.

Boosted!

So yeah, that’s about it for January. I am supposedly going to visit Kiki in mid-March now. Next month I am going to a jeans-making workshop that I’m very excited about (despite what I said earlier about sewing clothes) and of course Mardi Gras is coming up, and the house float is going back up, and we might be adding to it, so hopefully everyone stays healthy and we can have a nice February! And March!

P.S. This is random but pork tenderloin cooked with a sous vide is revelatory.

2021 in review

I feel like maybe the last thing I want to do is revisit 2021, but you know, there were some real high points, so let’s do it.

January

I turned 46. I sat around the fire pit at my friend Jen’s house and it was all I wanted to do for my birthday – so it was perfect. Spending time with my friends was what made 2021 bearable, but it happened so infrequently, so that is what made it terrible.

February

Mardi Gras! I spent a lot of January preparing for this, the Schitt’s Creek house float that I participated in. It was one of the high points of 2021. I had so much fun making my Moira costume (and Jen’s!) and helping with the creation (mostly telling Chris what to do) and then on Mardi Gras day, seeing all the people and BEING INTERVIEWED BY THE BBC.

You know, in case you wanted to watch it.

That wasn’t the only excitement in February. The boys were also enrolled in a COVID vaccine trial (Moderna) and we learned later in the year that they actually did get the vaccine (first one in February, second in March.)

March

Really, not much happened. Well, I got my vaccine. That was nice.

April

My sister & fam came down for Easter.

Our yard renovation was completed!

May

I went to visit Kiki! We baked a lot.

Linus was hospitalized for asthma. (He’s fine.)

June

Things were looking up. We found out the boys were fully vaccinated. Was it over? We were able to take off our masks and do things! I took the boys to a couple of soccer games. We ate at a restaurant! We booked a trip to California! Life was back to normal! I call this “the golden time.” Boy were were we naive.

July

My blog turned 20.

We got devastating news in the middle of the month when my sweet cousin Molly died suddenly. I still can’t believe it.

The boys and I went to California to visit Evan and Jennifer and Ellie. It was a lovely trip, even though it was under a cloud of sadness. Things still felt normal. We went to Disneyland and to an LAFC game and to the beach, and I got to meet my best friend in person finally. (She’s 3.)

This is when the golden time ended. LA had re-introduced a mask mandate not long before we got there. Delta was coming. Thank god we went when we went, or we wouldn’t have been able to go at all.

August

We got to hang out with the Murphys, which was wonderful.

The boys started 8th grade.

We went on a terrible road trip. Thanks Ida!

September

We finally got to go home! After spending 11 days in Houston and Baton Rouge, we were ready. And that’s about all I can say about September.

October

I went to the Rosebud Motel with my friends. That was fun.

That’s about it. Oh, I did some sewing.

The boys finally got to start soccer again. Or was that September? I don’t know. One of those months.

November

KIKI CAME TO VISIT! That was awesome. We did a lot of stuff around the house and ate at restaurants. Things were starting to feel normal-ish again.

I made a quilt!

Obviously it was Schitt’s Creek themed.

We had a quiet Thanksgiving, just the five of us.

December

My sweet baby boys turned 14!

My mom turned 75 and my brother and sister came in for it.

Finally, we celebrated Christmas with Grandee and Larry and negative COVID tests.

On to 2022!

Getting back to normal

Yikes, it’s been a while since I posted, and a lot has happened. Well, for one, we came home. Wheee!

Let’s see, the last post was taken on a Saturday, and power came back on late Monday night, so we went home on Tuesday the 7th. All told, we were away from home for 11 days, and boy was our fridge gross. We’d thrown out all of the food the previous Friday when George and Miles and I went to check things out, so it could have been worse, for sure.

Gas was still hard to come by when we got home, as were groceries. Even now, two weeks after coming home, stores aren’t fully stocked. But it’s getting better.

We had to get a tree removed, and while we had a crew, we also had them prune some of our other trees. I was sad to see the tree go – though I’m hoping that the increased sunlight in the yard will mean my new plants from when we had the yard redone last spring will start thriving.

Just a stump.

It’s sad to look out of the upstairs bathroom window and not see the tree, though.

I’ve also been sewing a bit more. I made a new cardigan for myself and a skirt for Terry for her birthday.

I’ve also been baking a bunch. I found this no-knead recipe that is so easy, it seems silly not to make bread every day. Well, last night it was pizza. We also made flour tortillas the other night because, why not?

Ziggy is still cute.

Oliver has eaten avocados.

The boys still haven’t gone back to school in person yet – this week has been virtual. In theory they’ll go back to campus next week. (Mold issues, not COVID.) And soccer was supposed to start last week, but we’re waiting on that too. Hopefully soon!

So yeah. That’s about it for now. Yay for fall!

Twenty years of blogging

Twenty years ago today, on July 10, 2001, I published my first ever blog post. Not that I called it a blog then. Each month was a page on my website (not sure what the URL was back then, because I didn’t register pyjammy.com until March 2002) and I would update the month’s HTML file every time I posted an entry.

I added a splash page at some point. How 2003 of me!

Sometime around 2003, I moved it to a real blogging platform (okay fine it was Blogger.) And then in 2008 I moved it to WordPress.com (and it was self-hosted for a while, but after I started at Automattic, I moved it back here to WordPress.com.)

Over the past 20 years I’ve blogged about running, weight loss, wedding planning, pregnancy, raising triplets, and sewing. This is the 4092nd post.

My stats don’t go back prior to 2009, but since then I’ve had over 2,000,000 views and 300,000 visitors. 2010 was my zenith of blogging, when I posted 541 times (that’s when I started the first 365 project, back when the boys were little and adorable.)

This is the most popular post, at least of the last 13 years.

Who ever thought I’d still be blogging after 20 years? Will I still be blogging in 20 years? I mean, surely I’ll still be taking the monthly pics

June so far

Not that there’s a lot to say. But I guess we’ve done some things, now that everyone is vaccinated and life seems to be returning somewhat to normal.

Plus I got a new iPhone so my pictures are better now. 😀

We’ve been to a couple of Jesters games…

We went out to eat! At a restaurant! Though now that I think about it, we sat outside so I guess it wasn’t that notable. But it was really nice. And we sat outside the pub after and played with a tiny puppy.

I donated blood and got a cool t-shirt. Ziggy remains adorable. It’s rained a lot.

I made beignets and we went to the pub for Father’s Day.

So yeah, it’s been a quiet month so far.

Next month will be more eventful. The boys and I are going to Los Angeles to visit my brother and his family and we’re going to an LAFC game and Disneyland and I’ll finally get to meet my friend Robyn’s daughter and see my brother’s new house. Very exciting.

1 year since I joined a cult

I am a pandemic cliche. Not just the puzzles I put together, the shows I binged, or the sourdough I started and baked with. No, it was the purchase I received one year ago today:

Yeah, I laughed at the commercial just like everyone else did. I took a spinning class once and hated it. But I guess I have enough friends that raved about it, so I reasoned that I could always return it if I hated it.

But I didn’t. I loved it immediately.

And all of the aches and pains that I’d gotten from four years of Orangetheory went away. The tendinitis in my ankle, the knee pain, the back pain, the shoulder tendinitis. I used to love running on the treadmill. That was my favorite part of OTF. But until I stopped, I didn’t know how much it was hurting me.

So what have I done over the past year?

668 rides totalling 9 days, 2 hours, 16 minutes

45 live rides

1 shout out from Tunde on my birthday

Longest ride was 75 minutes, 35 seconds during a work call (I have a tray for my laptop)

I could go further into my stats, like which instructor I took the most classes from, but that’s boring if you don’t have a Peloton so I won’t.

Anyway, I’m not going to talk about things like the number of calories I’ve burned or inches lost or anything like that because that’s not why I’m doing this. I’m doing this because now I have really amazing leg muscles and it’s good for my cardiovascular health. I do need to get better about taking advantage of all of the other classes especially upper body strength training and stretching. Maybe that will be my goal for the next 365 days.

Look at the cute view I have! (I mean the dog!)

Mardi Gras 2021: Moiras and the BBC

What a Mardi Gras we had!

All of the work we did on the house float and our costumes was so worth it. But I am exhausted, but want to get this down before I forget any of it.

Yesterday I posted this tweet with a video I made teasing our costumes and special throws:

That got the attention of a producer for BBC News who DMed me and asked if I’d be interested in doing a live interview later in the day.

So I spent the next four hours mildly freaking out. In the meantime, we had dozens of people walking by, taking pictures and cheering us on and getting our very special throws (custom Rosebud Motel/Krewe of Moiras keychains with glittered keys.) Steph was interviewed by the AP! (she’s much better at this kind of thing but you know my Anglophile heart wasn’t going to let anyone else do this BBC thing, sorry friends.)

Oh, and it was literally freezing. We had a hard freeze last night, and it was in the 20s standing out there all morning, but we were committed! Thank god I had a loose dress that I could put plenty of layers on under. And wigs and giant papal hats are also good for staying warm. (Life hack!)

Finally, it was time to do the interview, which was done via Zoom, and as usual, I couldn’t be still so I was kind of all over the place and it might make you nauseated. You’ve been warned.

Me during the interview, everyone posing in the background. hee hee!

Maybe the best part was getting a text from a friend in Ireland that said (I’m paraphrasing) “ARE YOU ON THE BBC RIGHT NOW?!?”

So yeah, it was live, too, no pressure. And hey, now I’ve been on the national news and international news!

Anyway, and then I was able to relax and have fun seeing all of the people coming by. People loved the house and our costumes, because the show brings people so much joy. If you haven’t started watching it yet, what are you waiting for?!?

Now I am exhausted and am going to sleep until next Mardi Gras. But the Krewe of Moiras will live on!

Mardi Gras 2021: The House Float

It’s almost Mardi Gras and my friends and I have been busy getting ready for it. I know what you’re thinking. “There aren’t any parades this year!” That’s true, but there are floats. House floats! And we have turned Stephanie and Chris’s house into one.

Let me back up a bit. Before we knew Mardi Gras was being “cancelled”, a bunch of friends had decided we were going to dress up on Mardi Gras day as the “Krewe of Moiras.” We had all binged Schitt’s Creek and were pretty obsessed with the show and let’s face it, the many looks of Moira Rose would make for great costumes.

And then the parades were cancelled, and COVID wasn’t getting any better, and walking around on Mardi Gras day didn’t seem like such a good idea anymore. And then someone in our neighborhood came up with the Krewe of House Floats and it spread across the city and now you can hear about it on CNN and other big news outlets.

So we decided to do a Rosebud Motel house float! And on Mardi Gras day we’ll be wearing our Moira costumes. We even have special throws for the day (but those will remain top secret for now.)

Full credit for the construction and painting go to Chris and Darrell. The girls helped but mostly bossed them around.

And now for a zillion pics of the house float…

If the weather cooperates, we’re going to visit the other Schitt’s Creek houses around town on Sunday in costume so you may get a sneak peek then!

PS If you’re local, the house is located at 504 Vallette in Algiers Point. Come see us and take a pic with our sign (be sure to tag it #kreweofmoiras!)

It’s February?!

How’d that happen? And I haven’t blogged in forever. So let’s see, how was January?

Lots of king cake, yum.

Lots of working on our house float, which is SO AWESOME I COULD DIE. (It’s not at my house, it’s at Chris and Stephanie’s house, and oh my lord it is so good. I want to do a complete post just on the house (also it will be getting more finishing touches) but here’s one that I haven’t posted on my Instagram:

So good. So good. And the Today Show camera people came by yesterday to film it, so you might see it there!

This is all leading up to Mardi Gras day, when we will be outside being the Krewe of Moiras, all dressed up and handing out very special throws. (Or tossing them from several feet away. Safely.) Follow #kreweofmoiras on Instagram so you can see how obsessed we all are with Schitt’s Creek. (A lot.)

I also spent a night in Baton Rouge this week to help my mom who had shoulder surgery. It was weird to be away from the boys. It’s been so long. I kind of missed them?!?!

This is kind of sad. I just looked through the pictures on my phone to see what I’ve been doing for the last three weeks, and it’s all photos from working on the house float and Ziggy. I’d say I need to get out more but that’s definitely not true.

Okay, here are a few. Got my new AirPod Pros for working at Automattic for 7 years! (Which was back in November but they took a while since they’re custom.)

Yeah I did the Bernie meme, and it got more likes on Instagram than any other post ever. Yeesh.

My contribution to the house float has been lots and lots and lots of paper roses.

Chilly weekend nights = firepit and Ziggy staring adoringly at George.

So yeah, I guess that’s it for now. Tomorrow is the monthly picture, and after that I’m hoping to have a post all about the house float.

2020, don’t let the door hit you on the way out

This is going to be a weird year-end recap. Let’s see.

January

I got to go to Lisbon! Thank god we planned our meetup for January, or my only trip (outside of Louisiana, anyway) in 2020 never would have happened. Also I turned 45 there. (My third birthday meetup since I started at Automattic.)

The boys finished up their season playing soccer for the school team, which ended in winning the championship! I adore this picture of Linus.

February

Kiki came to visit! Thank god. I’m so glad I got to see her this year at least once. We ate a lot and took a road trip to Alexandria and Natchitoches for Linus’s archery tournament.

Later in the month was Mardi Gras! Where we were probably all spreading COVID like crazy! I made a fun Mardi Gras dress. Maybe I’ll get to wear it again in 2022.

Also I got a new wardrobe from IKEA. I love it.

March

Well it started out okay. I had raised over $2000 for St. Baldrick’s and I was so ready for my hair chop scheduled for the end of the month. Yeah, that still hasn’t happened. I did get a haircut, but nothing too drastic. (You can still donate, you know!)

Friendship day at the beginning of March. Probably we were all spreading COVID like crazy here too.

I took two days off to spend with Linus and Miles, just like I’d done the year before. We ate lunch and escaped from rooms.

Two days before Oliver and I were supposed to have our day off, I was sitting at soccer practice waiting for the boys when I got a message from the school. It was going to be closed for the next two days because there was a possible connection to a COVID case. You know what happened next.

The rest of March was a lot of sewing, cooking, and watching movies.

Click here for the fun part of 2020